Cft: “Sint Maarten, continue improvement process”

In its conversation with the Minister of Finance of Sint Maarten, the Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Cft) determined that Sint Maarten is taking the necessary steps to improve its budgetary process. The Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR) requested Sint Maarten to adopt the 2023 budget by March 31 st , 2023. This budget has to comply with the budget standards as stipulated in the Kingdom Act on financial supervision
Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Rft).
According to the Rft, the 2023 budget had to be adopted prior to December 15 th , 2022. Sint Maarten did
not meet this deadline and has indicated that it will submit the 2023 budget to Parliament as soon as
possible, so that it can be adopted before the March 31 st , 2023 deadline that was requested by the RMR.
The level of public investment in Sint Maarten has been low for some time now. Consequently, Sint
Maarten is not using the opportunities to stimulate sustainable economic development. In 2022, Sint
Maarten planned to finance ANG 15 million in investments through the loan subscription by the
Netherlands. Sint Maarten had a significantly higher deficit in the adopted budget amendment 2022 than
was permitted by the RMR. Therefore, the Cft was unable to give a positive advice on the loan request.
The government is currently working on sufficiently substantiating the investments in the 2023 budget.
Healthcare and social security
Sint Maarten took the first steps in 2022 to reduce the shortages in the healthcare funds. For instance,
the wage limit for Health Insurance and Accident Insurance has been raised as of September 1 st , 2022,
and Sint Maarten has started a cost saving program for medicine costs. The Cft discussed the proposed
reforms and the importance of a realistic and adequately substantiated (long-term) budget for the social
funds with the Council of Ministers and the executing entity for Social and Health Insurances (SZV). Sint
Maarten expects to structurally reduce the deficits of the health care funds when the general health
insurance is introduced on January 1 st , 2024.
Increase tax benefits
From an international perspective, Sint Maarten’s tax and premium burden is low at approximately 27
percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Cft advises Sint Maarten to introduce in the short
term a casino tax and a turnover tax on the private import of goods. Sint Maarten is already working on
a reform of the accommodation tax on the rental of homes to tourists. Sint Maarten also wants to
include lottery booths in the tax and premium levy. During the meeting with the Minister of Finance, the
Cft emphasized that modernization of (tax) systems and the Tax Authority is necessary to improve
compliance. The exchange and linking of data (files) between implementing organizations is of utmost
importance in this respect.
Financial management
In recent months Sint Maarten has assessed various financial work processes and cleared various
(suspense) accounts. The 2019 and 2020 annual accounts were adopted in January 2023. This means
that the backlog with regard to the preparation and adoption of annual accounts has largely been

cleared. The 2021 annual accounts are expected to be adopted shortly. Sint Maarten is also working on
shortening the process for the delivery and audit of the annual accounts. The Cft emphasizes the
importance of a sustainable implementation of the improvements resulting from the projects, in order to
structurally improve the quality of financial management. It is important to have sufficient capacity to
this effect.
As of February 1 st , 2023, Ms. Lidewijde Ongering has been appointed as chair of the Board of financial
supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten, the Board of financial supervision Aruba and the Board of
financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. In its new composition the Cft visited Sint
Maarten on February 15 th and 16 th , 2023 and held talks with the Governor, the Council of Ministers, the
Minister of Finance and the Sint Maarten Parliament. The Cft also spoke with the executing agency for
Social and Health Insurances and the director of the Princess Juliana International Airport.
On February 13 th , 2023, the Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Cft BES)
visited Saba where it held talks with the Executive Council and the Island Council. The Cft further visited
the construction site for the new port. On February 14 th , 2023, the Cft BES spoke with the Executive
Council and received a tour of Global Terminal Investments Statia on Sint Eustatius.